Plurilateral Agreement for the termination of bilateral investment treaties between the Member States of the European Union

Last update: 06.05.2020 08:51

This week in Brussels, the Slovak Republic along with 22 other EU Member States has signed the plurilateral Agreement for the termination of bilateral investment treaties between the Member States of the European Union (“Agreement”).

Following the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU from 6 March 2018 C-284/16 Slovak Republic vs. Achmea B.V. (“Achmea judgement”) in which the Court declared that the arbitration clause contained in international treaties concluded between the EU Member States such as the bilateral investment treaty between the Slovak Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands is incompliant with EU law, the EU Member States signed on 15 January 2019 the Declaration on the legal consequences of the judgment of the Court of Justice in Achmea and on investment protection in the European Union (“Declaration”) as the first step for effective implementation of this judgment.

As a consequence for the Slovak Republic, the Achmea judgment led to the annulment of the arbitration award issued against the Slovak Republic back in 2012 in the investment arbitration Achmea B.V. v the Slovak Republic, which constituted a great victory for the Slovak Republic represented by the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic.

By signing this plurilateral Agreement, the Slovak Republic finally terminates respective bilateral investment treaties along with 22 other Member States in a single step and thus eliminates the existing conflict with EU law. The Slovak Republic will continue to negotiate a bilateral termination of relevant bilateral investment treaties with those Member States that did not acceded to this Agreement.

Neither the Declaration, nor the Agreement decrease the level of protection of cross-border investments within the EU. Even the European Commission emphasized in its Communication on Protection of intra-EU investment that formal termination of intra-EU bilateral investment treaties will not affect the level of protection of cross-border investments within the EU.

The full version of the Agreement is available here.

The Slovak Republic played a key role in negotiations of the Declaration as well as of the Agreement.

 

Press Department
Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic